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Saturday 20 July |
Saint of the Day: The Prophet Elijah
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When the inconvenience of work crews led me right to a Gospel lesson


Kent Weakley | Shutterstock

Fr. Brian Cavanaugh, TOR - published on 07/23/21

They had just poured the concrete when they started sawing it. Why, I wondered ...

I’m sure you’ve noticed — actually, you really cannot avoid them — the orange barrels set up while crews dig up the old, cracked concrete roadways, and pour new concrete.

But after the concrete had been poured, then allowed to dry for a while, I saw that they started sawing the big slabs into smaller sections. So, I asked a contractor and he informed me that they were allowing for the expansion joints in the concrete.

You see, concrete is not an elastic substance, therefore it does not bend or stretch without failure. Concrete undergoes expansion due to high temperature when in a confined boundary which leads to cracks. To prevent and reduce stress and harmful effects due to concrete movement, several expansion joints are incorporated into concrete construction … And a concrete sealer is used for the filling of gaps produced by cracks.

Can WE stretch and bend?

This got me thinking that people could use expansion joints as, well.

A number of people seem to be rigid and not too flexible; they do not stretch or bend easily. And when they get a bit hot under the collar, stiff-necked, and feel the blood pressure beginning to boil, they tend to stress out and can crack.

So, I think, men and women both could use several expansion joints to reduce stress with its harmful effects.

We read in the Gospel of Matthew 12:7, where Jesus quotes the prophet Hosea, “I desire mercy and not sacrifice” (Hos. 6:6).

Matthew is reminding each of us that the New Testament upholds the law of Christ as absolute within our faith. We must never forget that this law of Christ is one of love.

So, it would seem to me that learning how to live more fully with God’s mercy and the love of Christ just might be the expansion joints we need so that you and I can become less rigid and more flexible, and reduce life’s stress with its harmful effects.

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